How To Install IO Shield? [Step-by-Step]

As desktop users, we all know that the IO shield is a part of a computer. Today we are going to find what is an IO shield and what’s the necessity of it and how to install it on a desktop computer in easy steps.

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What is an IO shield?

The IO shield is a thin steel piece that we use to protect the motherboard from dust. The primary purpose of an IO shield is to cover the unwanted area at the rear side of the CPU cabinet and give place to the required areas or ports of the motherboard. The IO shield is also called an Input-Output shield because its position is in between the Input to the monitor and Output from the CPU.

You can see the picture of an IO shield here.

IO Shield

It is the IO shield of the Zebronics H55 motherboard. You can see the space available on the shield is for various ports on the motherboard. These ports will define whether the IO shield is compatible with the motherboard or not. It is ok to remove the unwanted pins on the shield that can cause trouble to your motherboard ports.

However, the IO shields are not the same for every computer. The structure of an IO shield is based upon the design of its compatible motherboard.

Uses of IO shield :

The IO shield is lightweight compared to all other components. Before going to know its importance in a computer, we need to know the uses of an IO shield.

  • The primary use of an IO shield is to protect the PC from the dust
  • Protect from discharge currents
  • It makes good contact between the connectors
  • Helps to optimize the PC airflow
  • It controls the excess pressure while plugging in a cable

Dust and temperature are the two things that a computer wouldn’t bear. So, we need to control the dust entering our computer. The shield helps in this aspect.

Coming to temperature control, PC airflow optimization is useful.

Is it necessary to attach the IO shield to the Motherboard?

We need an IO shield to protect our PC components like motherboard, processor, GPU, etc from dust. The hardware components may get damaged because of heavy dust. If your PC location is not clean, I highly recommend placing an IO shield on your CPU case.

If you have a clean environment with Air Conditioners in your room, then the IO shield is not compulsory. And nothing would happen without a shield in a CPU. But not every one of you has a clean workplace. So, it’s better to place it.

Check for IO shield, motherboard, and CPU cabinet compatibility:

However, let’s see the process to install an IO shield on a computer. Along with the steps, I provide the pics so that you can understand the process clearly.

First, you should check the compatibility of an IO shield, motherboard, and CPU cabinet. If all these 3 components are compatible, then you can go to the installation process.

How to check the compatibility of the IO shield, motherboard, and CPU case?

To check the compatibility, you should place the IO shield on the rear side of the motherboard (ports side). If all the motherboard ports are clearly visible after you place the shield on it, then we can say that shield is compatible with the motherboard.

If you have already installed the board on the case, then the board and the case are compatible elements. 

Just place the motherboard on the CPU case, if you find the screws place exactly the same for the motherboard and the case, then we say they are compatible. The other way to check the compatibility is by finding the motherboard model and the chipset.

io shield and motherboard
Motherboard and its IO shield

Useful Read: How to find the motherboard model of your computer?

How to install an IO shield? [step-by-step]

Installation of an IO shield is quite easy. In the process of building a PC, you can install the IO shield with the motherboard. It is completely an inside component of the CPU case.

motherboard and io shield compatibility check
Motherboard and IO shield compatibility check
  1. Remove the motherboard from the case if you have already screwed up the board.
  2. Take the IO on the left hand and the motherboard on the right-hand
  3. Place the shield on the ports of the motherboard properly
  4. Now move the motherboard (with shield) into the CPU case. Be careful to find the screws without any physical damage to the board.
  5. Adjust the board and the shield to find the screw holes.
  6. Turn the screws with a screwdriver to install the motherboard inside the CPU case.
  7. Look at the rear side of the CPU and observe the motherboard ports. If you find the ports clearly and are sure that they won’t give any trouble while using them, then you did the right thing.
Fitting screws on the board
Fit screws on the board

That’s it. You installed the motherboard and the IO shield with it as well.

Sometimes, the motherboards are not coming with an IO shield. In that situation, you can use the one that you already have. Otherwise, buy the new one in the stores. If the IO shield is not compatible with the motherboard, you may find trouble while using the ports of the motherboard. You can add or remove the space on the shield based on the requirement.


The IO shield is a compulsory part, and it is an optional part too, sometimes. But this all depends on you (the user), and your work environment.

There is nothing to lose if you place an IO shield in the CPU case. But you have an advantage with the IO shield to enhance protection for your PC components from dust and other unwanted actions.

In my CPU case, I have an IO shield protection. Does your CPU have this? Make a comment and share your thoughts.